Axiom Verge - PC Review

This homage to Metroid does not just respect the formula - it improves it

Order of Battle: Pacific - PC Review

Surprise - but this is one of the best strategy games of 2015 so far

Gratuitous Space Battles II - PC Review

Get ready for lots of strategic space combat - your time will be well spent

MLB 15: The Show - PS4 Review

It is still the best game of baseball on the market, though the improvements from last year are minimal

Sayonara UmiharaKawase + - PS Vita Review

A challenging platforming title that gets an update for the Vita - but has it aged well?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

KotL - Summoner project - finished Chapter 1

I go back to this about every 2 weeks. Last week? I was playing a ton of games. This weekend? My son was needling me about getting this project going a bit - he's definitely been interested in playing. Problem was? I had the custom code mostly in place, but untested and I had all of the pretty but relatively useless intro stuff in place, but no real dungeons yet.

Now for anyone who's used RPG Maker XP, they know that the basic systems are... well, super basic. Combat is a fight/skill/defend/item affair. Now most of the scripts I used? I did not write them. I did however have to modify a lot of them to get them to play nicely with one another and my own customized stuff. So now the combat includes things like Overdrives, Summoning replacement creatures and gear that can have spells cast off of it. Getting all of that debugged was most of my Saturday evening.

The other thing that I decided to do was work in a lot of branching paths and choices - for example either, both or neither of your siblings may survive the early going, which obviously affects some of the cosmetics to the storyline, but also who becomes available in your party. Which reminds me - I need to work on the party switching script next...

Anyway, that said, even with me knowing right where to go, I would say the game took me about 20-25 minutes to get through chapter 1, and it took my son about 35-40 minutes when he ran through it. I figure if it reaches 3-5 hours in total, I met my goal. Anyway, the video's nothing special, but I put in the last stage of the first real playable cavern, showing off some of the scripted events and combat options.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Gaming thoughts... 10/31/11 - Halloween edition

I like scary movies, and I love scary games. In honor of Halloween I thought I would do a quick rundown on some of my favorite spooky games from over the years.

My favorite scary game: Fatal Frame 2

The entire Fatal Frame series on the PlayStation 2 was amazing. My wife and I bought part 2 from a friend online with a couple of other games, and had no idea what we were getting. He needed money, I just wanted some cheap games. Turned out to be the creepiest game we had ever played, and we loved it. Went out and got the first Fatal Frame right afterward and played that, then when part 3 came out, we immediately bought and beat that one. We were disappointed when the Wii Fatal Frame was released in Japan, but not ported over here.

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Good series:

- Silent Hill and Resident Evil

My entry into those games came on parts 2 for both. I've played a few over the years since, but never quite got into them the same way. Somewhere along the way, they became more action and less fright-oriented. Still good games, but the series definitely lost some fright-factor.

That said, I did pick up Silent Hill game for the Wii, which got solid reviews. I need to get around to playing and reviewing that one.

- Phantasmagoria:

What a mouthful, huh? Right about the time I met my wife, she and a friend of hers wanted to introduce me to this PC game. The graphics for the time were solid, and the gameplay was that of point-and-click adventure stuff. The storyline was decent, and it definitely had a creepy feel to it. Just don't bother with the second game in the series, where it goes from haunted house to aliens, if I recall correctly.

- Amnesia: The Dark Descent:

I talked about this title back when I reviewed the Potato Sack by Steam. As a game, it is a little clumsy in places. As an experience, this is probably one of the most atmospheric games I have played in awhile. The game is very creepy, and while the graphics engine is not the best, they make excellent use of what they have. Great independent title.

- Limbo:

Not really a horror game, but like Amnesia, this title sets up the atmosphere beautifully, and there are some genuinely creepy moments in the world of living shadows. Amazing title in my opinion.

Honorable mention:

- Dead Space

I still haven't played #2, which is odd since I absolutely loved #1. Sure, it's more "Aliens" scary that "Nightmare on Elm Street" with its sci-fi theme, but it's a good blend of action and tension.

Honorable mention - runner-up:

- Condemned series

These games were more akin to action titles, and I was not a huge fan of the storyline, but the titles themselves had me jumping here and there. The first person view and excellent use of light and sound had me on my toes throughout both titles. Condemned may have been the first suspense/horror title I played this console generation.

Dishonorable mention:

- Friday the Thirteenth on the NES

This may have been my first 'horror' game ever. I had never even seen any of the movies before playing this game, but Jason was an iconic figure by that time, and I knew I was supposed to be scared of him. Thing is, instead of 'horror' the game was simply 'horrible'. It was boring, repetitive and did not scare me in the least - it was quite a let down. Luckily the titles above it in this list have more than made up for this game's sins against me.

So, what about you? Any fans of horror games out there? If so, what are some favorites (or least favorites) and why?